Turkey arrests suspected IS killer of Syrian journalists

Turkey arrests suspected IS killer of Syrian journalists
Turkish authorities arrested the suspected killer of two Syrian journalists who were founded beheaded in the country's south two years ago, state media reported on Monday.

2 min read
15 August, 2017
The suspected killer was detained after crossing back into Turkey [File Photo: Anadolu]

The suspected killer of two anti-Islamic State group Syrian journalists was arrested by Turkish authorities, state media said on Monday. 

Muaz El Ahsin, who was identified by investigators as a suspected IS member, crossed illegally into Turkey nearly two years after the murders and was detained by police, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

El Ahsin is charged with the killing of Ibrahim Abdul Qader and Fares Hamadi from Raqqa, who were found beheaded at a friend's house in the southern Turkish city of Sanliurfa in October 2015. The double murder was later claimed by IS.

The suspect fled to Syria following the killings but returned to Turkey three days ago where he was arrested.

They were members of the "Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently" (RBSS) group which monitors atrocities by IS in its main stronghold in northern Syria.

The killings at the time raised grave concerns over the security of Syrian journalists and activists inside Turkey.

El Ahsin is being held in custody on murder charges by a court in Sanliurfa.

Other suspects remain wanted over the killing and police are seeking to apprehend them, the news agency added.

The arrest came just days after a Turkish police officer was stabbed to death by an IS member near a police station in Istanbul.

The attacker, who was suspected of preparing to carry out a suicide bombing, was shot dead after killing the policeman, the pro-government Anadolu news agency reported.

The assailant had already been arrested and was being transported to a police station when the stabbing occurred at around 11pm (8pm), the private Dogan news service said, adding that the officer died from his wounds after leaving the scene in an ambulance.

Turkey was hit in 2016 by a succession of attacks that left hundreds dead in the bloodiest year of terror strikes in its history.

The attacks were blamed on IS militants who had taken swathes of territory in neighbouring Syria and Iraq as well as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who have battled the Turkish state in an insurgency lasting more than three decades.

Agencies contributed to this report.